Category Archives: Friendship

With Friends Like These…

Reading an advice column the other day, the opinion seeker declared that her best friend was getting married, but because she didn’t approve of the fiancé – describing him as a cheater, a liar and a thug (several of many traits that apparently make up a ‘ratchet’-type individual), she wondered how best to break it to her friend that she wasn’t going to attend the wedding – not even as a bridesmaid.

The columnist’s advice was based on her own similar experience, and so she recommended that she buy the dress, put it on and show up to support her friend. Because when she had neglected to do it years earlier for her own friend, their relationship went the way of all flesh. As did the marriage.

I’m reminded of a similar story where I knew the participants. Luckily I was neither the bride nor the bridesmaid, but I heard the story because one of the maids was busy telling everybody who would listen that she didn’t approve of the union. I always wondered whether the person who really ought to have known was any the wiser about how her “bestie” really felt.

And I said to myself, with friends like these – you’re better off with enemies, because at least with them you know where you stand. But, maybe she did tell her to her face, because as far as I know, this bridesmaid did attend the wedding. And I don’t want to think that she did so without ever telling her how she really felt.

So I agree with the columnist’s advice if she also insisted that she make her true feelings known to her friend, otherwise they’d end up in two different places – with one of them being seriously mislead.

Weddings require that you smile – a lot. Both my husband and I are no slouches in that department, but I know some people who shut it down two hours into the reception.

And they’re happy to be there.

So I take my hat off to the person who can smile even though she’s convinced that all the dresses and the food and the entertainment and the location rental are a total waste of money.

I am in awe of the person who can smile even though she thinks that the hours spent hosting a bridal shower, helping to prepare the favours, to choose the flowers and box up the cake were a colossal waste of time.

I bow deeply to the person who can smile when the photographer asks for just one more picture, even though she’d prefer to cut her eyes and suck her teeth instead.

I marvel at the person who can smile when asked to make a speech or give a toast which requires wishing the happy couple all the very best, even though it doesn’t gel with what she’s been telling everybody else.

Anyway, if the marriage that she considers doomed to failure actually survives, she will have already mastered the acting skills required when she’s obliged to be happy at the outcome.

But if the marriage does falter on the rocks, she will have already mastered the acting skills required when she’s expected to feign surprise at the outcome.

And she’ll be there to provide a willing shoulder to cry on.

I just hope she doesn’t spoil it by saying, “I told you so”.

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The Gift of Friendship

Have you ever lost a friend? I don’t mean losing that person to death. Or to marriage. Or to a different path in life. Or to migration, because technology allows us to remain connected cerebrally, if not physically. I’m talking about the person who departs the relationship, and leaves you with the impression that it was not worth fighting for.

Friendship as an adult is quite different from what pertained when we were children. My daughter used to refer to a friend at school, and even though she didn’t know her name at the time, I don’t think the ‘friend’ would have been offended; but as adults we tend to be a bit more discriminating.

Unlike Facebook “friends”, a lot of us would agree that most of the people (besides family), who populate our lives, are actually acquaintances, who, while they make life interesting, are not the people that we expect to have our backs. But the ones who we would defend against the bad talkers, encourage in the difficult times, support in the not-so-happy times, rejoice with during the joyous times and share with at all times, are the ones we call friends.

These are the ones to whom we tell our secrets, but they are also the ones who we can call out if we don’t like something they did or said. They are the ones to whom we can read our wish list, but who don’t mind when we read them the riot act. Friends are the ones who don’t always tell you what you want to hear, but will always tell you what you need to hear. And in returning the favour that is friendship, we should accept it in the spirit that it was intended.

In T.D. Jakes’ sermon entitled “Let Them Go”, he says that people can and will walk away from you, and that you should let them, since your destiny is not tied to them. It just means that their part in your story is over.

I believe that people are put in your life for a reason, but some of them will only remain for a season; and if you’re lucky, it will be after they are gone that you will realize why they were there, and also realize why they are no longer there. And you will know that it would have happened sooner or later. And sooner is better.084